Work on a multi-million pound new STEM centre at Runshaw College’s campus is underway.
The site, in Euxton Lane, Euxton, near Chorley, has been flattened and cleared to make way for a training centre of excellence.
The diggers have moved in to create the foundations for the new £6.5m science and engineering innovation centre.
Packed with state-of-the art facilities, the development is expected to be ready for use by September 2016.
It will house cutting edge labs and workshops, accommodating up to 400 new students across a wide range of engineering and science programmes.
The college, whose main campus is in Leyland, received funding from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership to help get the project off the ground to train students to meet local needs.
Lancashire has the largest concentration of aerospace production and high technology manufacturing in the UK and these sectors are anticipated to grow over the next few yearsClaire Foreman
The two-storey building will be used by students on the college’s new line of science and engineering two-year ‘career degrees.”
Employers will be able to use the facilities, including the labs and 3D printing equipment, and will also be able to work alongside and network with other employers, through the Runshaw College Strategic Training and Skills Board.
Deputy principal Claire Foreman said the new centre should help to boost the local economy and transform the employability of those studying science and engineering programmes at Runshaw.
She added: “Lancashire has the largest concentration of aerospace production and high technology manufacturing in the UK and these sectors are anticipated to grow over the next few years.
“Similarly, the need for qualified science professionals is predicted to increase, with demand in particular in pharmacology, physiology, biotechnology, drug metabolism, toxicology and pathology.”
Claire said the new centre had been specifically designed to serve these key skill areas to meet demand from local business partners.
She added: “We aim to deliver real business benefits through the provision of innovative education and training programmes, working collaborative with employers to ensure the creation of a highly skilled workforce for the future.”